Saturday, February 26, 2011

Yellow Tail + Ben Lyons = Wine + Cheese

So, you were wondering who will win on Oscar night? Of course you were. Then, you were wondering, which wine would go best with each of the nominated films? Of course you weren't. Because Ben Lyons already figured it out for you., sponsored by Yellow Tail, now offers wine pairings for each oak-y film on the Academy's bloated list of 10 Best Picture nominees. The pairings are supplied by cinephile-cum-oenophile Ben Lyons, so you know they are solid. A publicist even sent out emails to various media outlets (although not this blog, mind you) asking:

As you prepare your content for the Oscars, I'm wondering if you're available for an interview with celebrity film critic Ben Lyons? Ben is available for interviews... for either phone or Skype interviews. If you prefer Skype, we can record it and provide back to you as a YouTube video.

During the interview, Ben can discuss his Oscar picks, as well as Oscar party planning tips. He is representing [yellow tail] Reserve wine* and can also discuss suggested movie and wine pairings. Appreciate your feedback. We only have a few slots left for the day, so I appreciate it if you could get back to me as soon as possible.

This text was provided by Jim Emerson, editor of, who was invited and chose to post a partial copy of the message along with a few snide comments. Better yet, PopEater (run by AOL) actually took the bait during what must have been a dreadfully slow news day. Make sure to stick it out to the end if you want to see Ben's recommendation with a proud little smirk on his face, or see my comments below.

You can check out the wine pairings at, where you can also put each movie on your Netflix queue, creating a Lyons/Yellow Tail/Netflix corporate sponsorship trifecta.

Their recommendations, based on the genre of each film, include a food pairing and some commentary to make it look like somebody actually took the time to think this stuff through. The pairings are below:

Black Swan - Genre: Intrigue, Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon
According to somebody at the web site (and I am not convinced Ben Lyons did anything there besides sign a contract and cash a check), "you'll find flavor-filled red meat recipes that offer comfort as you the whole night." Missing a verb, I think. There are many things you might do the whole night, I suspect they are not referring to any of the activities you are thinking of.

The King's Speech - Genre: Drama, Pairing: Merlot
"There's no doubt, drama movies are emotional. Movie-makers certainly know how our emotional connections to each other pull at the heart strings!" Yes, somebody actually wrote those two sentences, although apparently nobody edited them.

Personally, I would recommend drinking something German to remind you of the pro-Nazi sympathies of the characters that the film conveniently ignores. And based on Ben's pairing, I assume he has never seen the movie Sideways.

Toy Story 3 - Genre: Comedy, Pairing: Pinot Grigio
No, I am not making this up. But in this case, why don't we just skip Yellow Tail altogether and get a Wine Cube juice box at Target and switch it out with the little ones' grape juice. They'll be out so quick you can send the babysitter home early!

The Kids Are All Right - Genre: Romance, Pairing: Chardonnay
I'm not sure where they got the idea this was a romance, unless you consider having one of your mom's cheat on the other mom with your biological father, thus destroying your family, to be romantic.

Along with your Chardonnay they recommend you "try out some of these great Asian, chicken, and vegetable dishes before you cuddle up in front of your TV." Yes, I think Jules might like something "Asian-y" and Nic would like a VERY large glass. But let's be honest, absolutely none of these characters would be caught dead drinking a $6 bottle of Yellow Tail.

The Fighter - Genre: Action, Pairing: Shiraz
Again, this is not an action movie. The horribly choreographed "kidney shot" scene is proof of that. And what you should be drinking while watching this movie to go with its working-class posturing is a really crappy beer, or "beah" as Markie Mark would say. The perfect choice would be a Coors, another corporate product touting its affiliation with the workin' man. It goes down nicely with notes of water, carbonation and the sweat of underpaid workers toiling over it.

Finally, if you are listening Ben Lyons, what I really want to know is which Yellow Tail wine would go best with a viewing of The Human Centipede? (If you don't know, don't ask. Trust me.)

* I will NOT refer to the Australian wine company as [yellow tail], as they prefer (does the comma go inside or outside the bracket?) lest e e cummings should arise from his grave and strangle me with a spare question mark. To read more about Yellow Tail and how they have helped destroy wine in their home country, read John Pilger's wonderfully titled exposé Australia's reds are revolting.

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